Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1621047-The-Last-Roll-Call
by Legend
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Military · #1621047
For those who have lost a brother in combat.
(For those who don't know about the last roll call.  It is part of a memorial ceremony when a soldier in a unit is killed.  The company first sergeant or the platoon sergeant depending on how big the ceremony is will call off the names of everybody in the unit.  Everybody responds with "Here first sergeant" or "here sergeant".  The dead soldiers name is said last.  It is first called out with as rank and last name eg. Pvt. Doe.  Of course there is no response so then it is called out with rank first and last name eg. Pvt. John Doe... and then the last time the name is called it is rank, first, middle, and last name eg. Pvt John Joeseph Doe. After there is no response for the third time the firing squad of 7 people fires three volleys and then taps is played.  The ceremony includes a display of boots with a rifle stuck in the ground between them and a helmet resting on top, and also the person's picture.  I hope this can help people understand this poem.)

The Last Roll Call

Here we stand in formation
To honor a brother who served his nation
One by one our names are read
As the tears begin to shed
His name is called there is no sound
Just solemn faces all around
Three times in all his name is said
But he cannot answer for he is dead


He will never shoot another round
His rifle sticks in the ground
I see the boots he used to wear
They’re empty now he isn’t there
I’ll forever remember the day he died
I’ll remember today when we all cried
So on this day we say goodbye
But  in our hearts he’ll never  die
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